Amigo, a social networking app intended to help students connect and make friends during the COVID-19 pandemic, was released to UC Berkeley students Sunday.
The app, created by co-founders Paa Adu and Sophia Huard, is used to create personal and group profiles that people can browse to connect with classmates. Huard said Amigo is currently available for iOS in the Apple app store and is expected to be available for Android in the Google app store in a few days.
“Amigo is a place for students to connect. Our mission is to bring them together, especially during a pandemic,” Huard said. “We want to create a safe platform and a good user experience based on what students need and want.”
Huard added that while the app has been released to UC Berkeley students, it is currently locked until enough students join to provide for a “good user experience.” Adu said he expects to see more students join as finals end and students look for ways to de-stress.
Adu and Huard, who met as freshmen at Stanford University, began working on the app in September. The pair lamented that many students would not be able to meet others in dorms during the pandemic and hoped that their app could make up for the lack of in-person interactions.
“We realized a lot of students are having a poor college experience, primarily due to the COVID situation,” Adu said. “We were bummed that a lot of students can’t meet each other, and that really resonated with us.”
Amigo currently has more than 500 users and is in full use at Stanford University, where it was first launched Dec. 4. Adu added that thousands of messages have already been sent through the platform.
Interest in Amigo has popped up worldwide as well, with students in Australia requesting that the app be expanded there, Adu said. He added that they hope to launch the app at as many campuses as possible.
“Making friends is not a new problem. When you add in the pandemic, it’s hard to have a social life,” Huard said. “We’re really hoping to help students create connections.”